By on May 16, 2018

Despite pressuring Donald Trump to lower corporate fuel economy mandates since practically day one of his presidency, automakers are now urging caution. The U.S. Transportation Department has drafted a proposal that would freeze vehicle requirements at 2020 levels through 2026, the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead administrator made a public case for rolling back mileage targets, and the White House seems ready to help car companies lower the bar.

Automakers seem to have won, so why the change of heart?

There’s a fly in the ointment. California and sixteen other U.S. states have vowed to maintain the existing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards by any means necessary. Right now, there’s a California lawsuit accusing the EPA of arbitrarily reversing its course to side with automakers. The state is also pressing the federal government to validate its fuel economy waiver, which would allow it to set its own standards.

For automakers, making a deal with California is essential. If a handful of states keep more stringent fuel economy mandates, companies will still have to adhere to them. There’s little sense in building cars that meet the relaxed rules for most of the country if there’s still a significant number of states hitting the industry with penalties. Manufacturers would have to cater to the greener tastes of California, making this whole endeavor a lot less valuable.

On Friday, Trump met with auto industry leaders over the vehicle emissions rules. Afterward, two major auto industry trade groups said in a joint statement that Trump expressed an “openness to a discussion with California on an expedited basis.”

The accuracy of that claim is debatable. According to Reuters, California Air Resources Board spokesman Stanley Young said the state has not been contacted by the administration since Friday’s meeting. But we do know more talks with California were planned for this month. Whether or not they are a priority is another matter. The administration has been fairly clear that it doesn’t want to further delay the rollout of the proposal by debating with the state.

In fact, the lawsuit may have already pushed the issue past the point of negotiation. The Transportation Department’s fuel proposal carefully asserts that the 1975 federal CAFE law preempts states from imposing their own emissions rules, even those that were later granted waivers. It sounds as if everyone is already gearing up for a legal battle.

Mitch Bainwol, who heads the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and attended the meeting on Friday, said he still believes compromises can be made. “This is a solvable problem. There’s an outcome here that’s good for California, that’s good for this administration and terrific for the men and women who work for this sector,” he said.

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114 Comments on “Automakers to White House: Make a Deal With California on Fuel Economy...”


  • avatar

    ” The Transportation Department’s fuel proposal carefully asserts that the 1975 federal CAFE law preempts states from imposing their own emissions rules, even those that were later granted waivers.”

    That really should be all there is to it. California (per usual) wants to lead the rest of the nation around on a leash and make everyone comply to their “superior” standards.

    New York does the same exact thing in the financial services area, but the difference there is that the state has some say over banking/insurance.

    California sucks for insurance regulation too, I might add.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      I believe the issue here is constitutional authority.

      I am not an expert in constitutional law, but I have always understood that, where the states and the feds each have authority to legislate, the states may not pass any law that would would reduce requirements imposed by federal law on the subject, but they do have the ability to impose more stringent standards within the state – which happens, in a number of areas of shared authority (e.g., securities law)

      A federal statute cannot purport to remove valid constitutional authority from the states.

      So, the question here may be whether or not the subject matter of the CAFE law comes within an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Not really a constitutional issue here, but a regulatory one. The Constitution says that the Feds _can_ legislate in areas relating to interstate commerce, and if they do and they do so comprehensively with an intent to “occupy the field” in that area, then states can’t pass their own laws on the subject. But the Clean Air Act specifically provides for states to be able to petition the EPA for the ability to impose stricter fuel emissions rules, and if they’re able to show the need for them, then the EPA is supposed to grant them the ability. What California’s effectively arguing here is that the EPA is violating the requirements of the Clean Air Act by not considering and granting that petition.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Ah, but I suspect there is a constitutional issue. The mere fact that the Feds legislate in an area does not mark it as exclusively federal jurisdiction.
          For example, the Feds passed the securities and Exchange Act of 1933. Yet, every state has its own securities laws, and if you want to sell securities in that state you’d better be sure you meet them. Meeting the Federal act alone is not sufficient.

          That is but one example. I have seen a number of others where there is Federal legislation that applies, and which most states copy, but where some states impose more stringent requirements. My understanding as a lawyer (although I claim no expertise in constitutional law) is that, unless a subject is reserved exclusively to the Feds, states are free to impose more stringent requirements than those set out in Federal legislation.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Thumbs up, ect. By Constitutional law, the Federal government cannot force California to reduce its standards if those standards are higher than the government’s own.

        California (and the other CARB states) will still be able to retain their own legislation since it has never been meant to ‘own the field.’ The automakers alone chose to follow CARB rather than build separate versions after trying for several years in the mid-’70s and up.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      You like pollution? OK no accounting for taste.

      California is a narrow strip of land that backs into a mountain range. Pollution tends to collect and recirculate. causing the smog you may have heard about. Apart from nice sunsets, this smog kills people. The governance of California strangely believes that killing its residents is wrong.

      It is also the 5th largest economy in the world – it has a right to determine how its constituency is treated.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “causing the smog you may have heard about.”

        Smog is not the same as fuel use. If anything, strict fuel economy regulations that push people towards diesels, direct injection, and high compression are going to cause comparatively more particulates in the air.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Diesel as we know it now, is dying quickly. Europe has already realized that diesel particulates are part of what is causing historic structures to literally corrode away. They’re already in the process of eliminating almost all forms of ICEVs from the cities at least, starting with alerts that city centers will be off limits, first to diesels and later to all ICEVs. China, too, is starting a process to ban all ICEVs, not just diesels. The US, in time, will do the same.

          Smog is, essentially the same as fuel use. It is the particulates and gasses from the millions of vehicles driven on a daily basis in that state, both in private and metropolitan service. Diesels will be eliminated. High compression engines will get ever smaller in their effort to reduce particulates. Everything that has to do with burning hydrocarbons, whether it be coal, oil or even wood, will slowly be shut down as other forms of energy are promoted and adopted. The best way to have clean air is to simply stop burning ANYTHING, just for heat and energy.

          There is enough energy working through Earth’s mantle and atmosphere to drive nearly all of mankind’s needs til the end of time. We just need to learn how to tap it.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “High compression engines will get ever smaller in their effort to reduce particulates.”

            Decreasing displacement further will *increase* particulates.

            reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-paris-engines-exclusive-idUSKBN12E11K

            The future may be electric but we can’t just flip a switch and all drive EVs immediately. In the meantime there is no benefit to air quality by trending to high-comoression GDI-T engines.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            As stated earlier, ajla, diesels are dead except for heavy-duty use. Gasoline engines don’t put out nearly as many particulates and don’t need an exhaust washer to knock them down. However…

            Based on the link you provide, automakers are being driven into a choice; they either spend more money on electrification OR they spend new money on new engine designs. Honestly, it’s highly inefficient to try both and as such, not economical. Since nearly every brand has already started an electrification process, logically the overall electrification process will be accelerated, potentially seeing every brand go electric much sooner than previously thought.

            And just as each corporate brand has its own engine designs, I would not be surprised to see multiple electric designs. We already know of in-wheel motors and axle-mounted motors but it’s not impossible to see a much simplified intermediate system of a main drive motor replacing the engine and feeding a conventional drivetrain. After all, that has been one of the most common DIY conversions over the last 50 years–one of which even garnered a television special as an electric Rover Defender challenged an Isuzu on an off-road competition that showed the electric just as capable, albeit with shorter range. Then again, it was using conventional lead-acid batteries for power, too.

            So electric, while an expensive transition, it honestly is the more likely one simply due to all the effort already going on to challenge the newcomer, Tesla.

          • 0 avatar
            ChemEng

            Diesels with DPF emit less particulates than gasoline direct injection engines.

          • 0 avatar
            ChemEng

            Diesels with DPF emit less particulates than gasoline direct injection engines.

        • 0 avatar
          mtunofun

          If you eat more beans, you fart more. Eat less…fart less.

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Except that its constituency doesn’t necessarily want higher standards.

        I might have fun with the whole Soviet Kalifornistan thing, but I’m really disgusted by what the cultural Left has done to that state.

        They’re the ones that want unreasonably high fuel-economy and unreasonable low emissions standards.

        The average Californian just wants to be able to afford a new car every few years, have a good job and buy a house.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think Cali is trying to force anyone into their standards, Corey – I think they’ve got a longstanding pollution problem they are trying to alleviate, and this is one way of doing it. The only reason why automakers are going to cater to them is the size of their market. If this were Vermont, or Wyoming, no one would care.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        California has some really big problems but air pollution is far down the list. The biggest issues it has include a rapidly increasing population, housing stock that has not kept pace, water shortages, public employee pension liability and a huge segment of the population that doesn’t pay taxes at all.

        The EPA showdown along with its insistence on harboring illegal aliens, is Brown’s way of starting a political “war” in order distract the populace from its problems long enough to get Gavin in office.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Air pollution is a really big problem there. It was something I didn’t fully understand until spending some time there over the past six months. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to breathe in certain parts of LA and the inland empire. After the week I spent there in January, I was ready to go back to Michigan. I didn’t care about the weather, I just wanted to be able to breathe again. My colleague who used to work with me in Michigan told me all his breathing problems went away while he was in Michigan. Now he’s back in California and back on several different breathing medications. I’m not surprised they’re trying to push for electric cars. That area is truly puzzling to me. I don’t understand why so many people choose to live there for absurd costs. It’s basically a polluted desert wasteland. Until demand dies down though, it will stay that way.

          • 0 avatar
            carguy67

            “It’s basically a polluted desert wasteland.”

            You’re too kind. You forgot to mention all these abominations:

            – PCH: Still one of the most beautiful–and famous roads in the world
            – Redwood groves (not as many as we once had, unfortunately)
            – Death Valley: Not everyone’s cup of meat, I’m sure, but for stark beauty and wonder it’s unparalleled.
            – Yosemite: That’s a real pit (literally). Nobody goes there anymore it’s so bad.
            – Some of the best driving/riding roads anywhere. If you don’t like the ‘cliches,’ try the Klamath River Highway (96), 120 from the East–by the Joshua Tree preserve–through Yosemite, Hwy155 from Delano to Lake Isabella, of course the Angeles Crest (2)–where so many auto revues, driving videos, etc. are filmed–the ‘Snake,’ …
            – Pretty much anywhere in the Sierra Nevada.
            – Lake Tahoe: Well, we’re only responsible for half of it.
            – Some pretty decent racetracks.
            – Hundreds of out-of-the way, unspoiled places where people belie the ‘Limousine Liberal’ stereotype. I’m going to forgo mentioning them.
            – SoCal beaches. If you’re afraid of the ocean there’s at least some good optics.
            – I could go on …

            “That area is truly puzzling to me. I don’t understand …”

            That is self-evident.

            You know, I’ve known several Michiganders who couldn’t hack living in California (and one who wouldn’t go back to Michigan with a gun pointed at his head). Maybe it’s genetic.

    • 0 avatar
      Michael500

      Kalifornia gov’t is stupid. Catalytic converters solved the smog issue 40 yrs ago. The current rules are about combating the mythical green house gas “problem.” Trump should just slam dunk Moonbeam Brown and the Sacramento Marxists. CA should not be allowed to dictate what people drive or their own immigration policy. The socialists want all Kalifornians to drive electric cars- that our power grid CANNOT support. We have power brown-outs every summer. This is how stupid they are- you want the whole USA to be like this? Slam dunk these fools.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Fact is that California and the states that stupidly adopted their rules do not have any legal footing to prevail. The laws are pretty clear that the states do not have the right to regulate either fuel economy or emissions and it is only through a wavier that is revocable that they are allowed to implement the more stringent emissions standards along with the longer emissions performance warranty requirements.

    Much of it is just political BS by mostly democrats aimed at making Trump look bad. Fact is the regulations were supposed to be reviewed before implementation and Obama had his EPA lackeys push them through at the last minute of his reign, with out the full review that was supposed to be required. So there is legal standing to throw out the improperly imposed regulations.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      Scoutdude, you seem keen to declare that “the states do not have the right to regulate either fuel economy or emissions”. Where is this found in the Constitution?

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      “Much of it is just political BS by mostly democrats aimed at making Trump look bad”…….
      Seriously, and I hope you can see at least some truth in the fact that Dump is doing a far, far better job of making himself look bad than the Democrats could ever possibly do.

  • avatar

    More leniency towards CAFE and emission criteria sounds like a good thing, but it isn’t. U.S. car makers already have a hard time to compete on export markets, and American consumers might go for foreign imports anyway since they are more economical on average.

    • 0 avatar
      theBrandler

      As an American, I’ve only owned one domestic car, a ford Taurus Wagon from when they were horrible and looked like bubbles. Second worst car I’ve ever owned. The worst car I’ve ever owned incidentally was a Forester XT – which as I understand it, is made in America.

      None of the domestic brands make anything that interests me, save the Focus ST, but that just got discontinued – soooo…

      It doesn’t help that domestic brands generally don’t have a good reputation for reliability, and I’ve found that those who say they do, don’t consider replacing parts on a regular basis to be indicative of a reliability problem.

      I’ve owned Toyota’s and Honda’s. Change the oil once a year and the brakes every 3 or 4 years and the tires every 4 or 5 years and that’s about it. The only exceptions I’ve found is if they get really old, or, as in the case of my Accord, got into multiple accidents. Then random things just start failing, but that’s hardly the cars fault.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      What other nation uses vehicle footprint as its specific attribute for determining fuel economy?

      Stop reading Mother Jones.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Keep CAFE targets the same but increase the multiplier to 5.0 on any EV with over 100 miles of range and 2.5 on all other EVs/plug-ins?

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Does CAFE accomplish anything that couldn’t be better accomplished with a higher gas tax? Other than the political ramifications of course.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Higher gas taxes would be much more efficient at reducing fossil fuel use, either through manufacturer offerings or consumer purchases. Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform, however, have made raising any tax political suicide, regardless of how much sense raising a tax might make. Instead we get CAFE and a bewildering array govt fees, charges, and other forms of revenue raising.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        “Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform, however, have made raising any tax political suicide, regardless of how much sense raising a tax might make. ”

        What’s funny about this comment is that it’s not true in California, the bluest and most left of blue states. Out here, several tax increases have been passed, but because of the fiscal illiteracy of the population of the state, people don’t know they’re getting pick pocketed by the state and cities.

        The issue with tax increases for fuel, car registration, etc is that there’s never a citizen inquiry into how the tax dollars already being collected are being allocated. For example in California, we know that tax revenue from fuel has been shifted to the general fund to pay for things unrelated to road repair and construction.

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          CAFE exists at the national level, and the question was whether gas tax wouldn’t be more effective than CAFE. Therefor, the gas tax issue would have to be addressed at the national level, and that’s where Grover’s no-tax pledge comes into play.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        If the California politicians and their subjects are truly interested in reducing their carbon footprint and planet slaying emissions, they won’t care what Grover Norquist and those nefarious anti-tax organizations think about raising fuel taxes. There is no need to raise the taxes nationwide, just in the states who want to hold the rest of us hostage.

        It’s for the kids, so I know they’ll do the right thing.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy67

          “… just in the states who want to hold the rest of us hostage.”

          How is California raising its gas tax on its residents ‘holding the rest of us hostage?’ Perhaps you’re conflating gas taxes with emissions/mileage requirements (I know, they look a lot alike)?

          Oh, and our government already raised gas taxes–by $0.20/gal–and now it’s subject to public review by bond measure. My bet is the tax stays. You got your guns, show me the clause in the Constitution that guarantees cheap gas (of course, it’s not cheap at all when you include the MIC stuff and the damage to our servicepeople)?

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        Why is reducing our energy usage a good thing?

        Why not access more energy?

        I wouldn’t be surprised if in 150 years, a reputable source releases a report saying that even after a quarter-millennium of ever-increasing fossil-fuel usage in cars, ships, planes and utility powerplants, given the technology then available to extract it, humans hadn’t even touched 97% of estimated reserves.

        Human ingenuity always outpaces the rate at which we consume a supposedly limited resource.

        Civilization will be powered by fusion, antimatter or vermin colliders long before it comes anywhere near running out of petroleum.

        We’ll just lose interest in oil.

        It’ll be like VHS tapes, tastefully-styled cars or classy women.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy67

          I hope you’re right, but I don’t think so. Fusion, for one, has been ‘just around the corner’ since I was a kid–I’m 65–and we still don’t have it.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      I guess we should ignore the effect a fuel tax has on inflation and cost of living?

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        It’s not being ignored, if you know where to look:

        https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Rising-Fuel-Prices-Could-Offset-Tax-Cuts.html

        https://wolfstreet.com/2018/05/15/why-rising-gasoline-prices-wont-cut-into-consumer-spending/

        Among others. If you’re thinking about rising fuel prices and how you will deal with them–taxed or not–you’re being financially negligent.

  • avatar
    George B

    The obvious compromise is to stretch out the timeline for compliance with the fuel economy standard combined with adding generous credits and loopholes for automakers. The 2022-2025 fuel economy limits require consumers to purchase more gas-electric hybrids, but the take rate has been too low to move the average. One way to resolve this disconnect is to delay the standard a year or two and give automakers credits for designing and offering for sale hybrids even if consumers don’t buy them. Maybe pretend that consumers bought 10% plus actual percentage of that model as a hybrid and use this pretend number for compliance. That way California gets to say that the standard hasn’t been lowered, but automakers don’t get penalized when customers don’t buy enough of the fuel-efficient hybrid version.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    No deals with California! NO DEALS!!!! They’re too unreasonable!!!!!

    I only make deals with reasonable people like Kim Jong Il.

    Wait…

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Generally speaking, the CA state government is unreasonable. That’s been true for some time.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      All they need to do is have the public employee’s pension fund invest oh, let’s say half a billion in certain real estate developments and they’ll get whatever standards they want.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      California could teach those Kims a thing or two about running a communist government.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        …which means you don’t understand what communist government is…

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Mike’s right. Communist governments tend to be efficient because of central control. CA takes the worst parts of Communism (attempting central control), but leaves behind it’s efficiency. In its place, CA takes the worst of capitalism (corruption, waste, fraud, etc.) to aim high and shoot low.

          From a public policy perspective, the state is an HSR train wreck.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, it may be a trainwreck, but it ain’t communist…not by a long shot.

            If they are attempting “central control,” they’re doing it because that’s what the folks who live there are telling them to do.

            In more politically conservative states, the governments do less “central control” because that’s what their citizens are telling them to do.

            In other words, in this regard, the system’s working exactly the way the old white dudes in wigs wanted it to back in 1787, 41 years before Karl Marx was born. God bless America.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I’m for going back to the two-standard system of the past, one system for CA standards, the other for all others.

    It worked in the past, it will work again in the future.

    There is no way to reach a deal or compromise with CA far left ultra liberal greenweenies who are the majority in CA and rule the state.

    Let’s not have CA dictate its standards to the rest of the US that rejects it.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      40 years ago it might have meant just pulling a 305 off the shelf instead of a 350 and dropping it in a Corvette destined for California. Cars cost so much more to develop these days, it won’t be economical for automakers to make two different versions of a car within the same market.

      It reminds me of Sergio begging people not to buy the e-500 that’s only available in California, because they lost money on every one.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        They can still do that for CA-approved emissions, like put the 2.7L Ecobust in the F150 instead of the 3.6L Ecobust, or a 3.2 Pentastar in the Grand Cherokee instead of the 3.6L Pentastar.

        IOW, put smaller, more efficient, already-approved for CA engines in the vehicles headed to CA and the state choosing to adopt those standards.

        Feature the Silverado with ONLY the 4.3L V6 for CA and the RAM with ONLY the Pentstar 3.6L V6 for CA.

        It can be done with minimum upheaval to the current production-run system, and NO interruption.

        Smaller engines for CA and those states that adopted the CA standard.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      In a very real sense, this IS a market driven thing…after all, California is the largest car market in the country. Makes sense that carmakers would have to adapt to that.

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        We should let California dictate the regulations for the rest of the country Mike? They get to decide what kind of cars we drive?

        • 0 avatar
          ClutchCarGo

          It’s not only California. Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico (2011 model year), New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia have also adopted those standards. That’s a pretty big portion of the US population.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            So they should be able to dictate what cars the rest of the country should buy? Why don’t they pass higher fuel taxes on themselves so their people will be forced to reduce their consumption now, rather than years in the future?

          • 0 avatar

            It looks like if you add it up CAFE states make up 36% of new car sales. A bit to big to ignore.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Oh my, they’re DICTATING.

            Gives me the No Freedom Feelz.

            (Eyes roll)

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The last time we as buyers were faced with this, we stepped up from sedans like the Crown Vic to 1/2-ton four door pickup trucks.

            If this CA mandate comes to pass nationwide, I believe more people will step up to 3/4-ton four-door pickup trucks to get away from underpowered, restricted-breathing ICEs.

            I know I would, rather than drive any vehicle with a heavy-breathing, overstressed, gutless squirrel engine.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I think that’s pretty much the trend anyway, HDC.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I think that’s pretty much the trend anyway, HDC.”

            I think so too. One of my long-time retired-military friends recently replaced his gas 1/2-ton F150 with a Diesel F250 four-door 4×4.

            And, Nguyen, my former assistant in the construction business recently replaced his Ecoboost F150 with a F350 4-door 4×4 DRW, very similar to the one my son bought a couple of years back for his cattle business.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Don’t forget the ‘smog crisis’ that created these emissions standards in California. It wasn’t just something that was dreamed up to irritate mid-westerners.

      And their serious air quality problem has been eradicated by the implementation of these stricter emissions controls.

      If left to the troglodytes of the anti-government interference groups, we would still be using lead enriched gasoline.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Smog isn’t the same as fuel economy.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          True, but less fuel use equals less pollutants in the air, in a place that’s particularly susceptible to airborne pollutants.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            There is a correlation, but it isn’t absolute.

            An uncorked diesel getting 50 mpg is very likely spewing much more smog forming material than a low-compression, port-injected V6 getting 25 mpg.

            CA isn’t fighting here because of smog, it is about climate change.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            CARB is not about climate change; it’s about clean air. The benefits to slowing climate change are a side effect of cleaning the air.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        There were a lot of other factors that added to the smog situation in LA, among those all the factories left over from WWII production still cranking out tires, metals, and other heavy-industry goods.

        I was born there. I grew up there. It was bad. But it wasn’t just the motorists and their leaded methyl/ethyl gas that caused the pollution.

        There were a lot of smoke stacks spewing smoke and ash into the air.

        But no more. They were outlawed and the whole area was rezoned.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I’d say they were “outlawed” the same way all the smokestacks in my hometown (St. Louis) were – they got moved overseas.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Some factories were outsourced, like the tire makers. Man, we had a bunch there when I was a kid, like Firestone and many others that made tires for airplanes and vehicles.

            Others, like Corning and Anchor-Hocking went to the Maquiladora-concept where management stayed in the US, like TX, but actual making the stuff went to Old Mexico Borderland OR shifted to other locations in the US with less restrictions.

            Kinda like Toyota closing NUMMI and moving to TX. Or Nissan moving to MS.

            A lot of factors contributing all leading to the same conclusion, flight out of CA.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          “If this CA mandate comes to pass nationwide, I believe more people will step up to 3/4-ton four-door pickup trucks to get away from underpowered, restricted-breathing ICEs.”

          you don’t need to go to a 3/4 really, the manufacturers just need to strength the critical load bearing components on 1/2 tons a bit and increase the GVWR to 8500+1 lb. That’s what Nissan did with the XD to avoid having to declare its mpg.

          A 3/4 ton is a thirsty SOB even with the diesels now that the emissions control on HD/SD is extremely strict. The almost-30 mpg days of the old 5.9 Cummins is long gone.

          But for sheer road presence you can’t beat a heavy-duty light duty. When I drive my 2500 around town, bros in lifted JK Rubicons actually yield to me.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I had forgotten about that provision.

            Probably because I left the bid’ness in 2012.

            And yes, that’s exactly what Nissan did with their Titan XD!

            Thanks.

            And size matters. That’s why pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in the US, including the squirrel-engined 1/2-tons.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    [Real] American people to California – go back to Mexico

  • avatar
    TW5

    No deals.

    We had a federal election on Nov 8, 2016. Usurpers are not going to seize partial control of the federal bureaucracy by pretending imaginary ecological ethics supersede a lawful midterm congressional review of CAFE.

    States spent 8 years under the Obama DOJ being sued for trying to enforce federal law. Now the states that were responsible for the Obama DOJ are trying to sue the federal government for lawfully reviewing the previous administration’s lawless overreach.

    Furthermore, Ford has announced they are abandoning passenger cars in the US because they don’t see a future for them under the CAFE 2025 regulations. Ford is switching to less efficient light trucks. Still, the neoconfederates pretend ecology is their goal.

    Treason has been laid bare. Prosecute.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      And throw in Cali’s refusal to comply with immigration laws as well. The governor should be in jail.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Scott Pruitt spent 8 years under Obama suing the EPA to try to block federal law. Now the guy who was responsible for states suing the EPA is saying that states shouldn’t be able to sue the federal government for unlawfully reversing the previous administration’s actions.

      FIFY.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        In both instances, Pruitt’s actions have been lawful. He was not suing for the right to usurp federal law with Oklahoma law, nor to impose Oklahoma law on the rest of the nation. If he had prevailed in his legal challenge to the Obama admin, he would merely have imposed existing federal law on states that voted for it.

        In both instances, the Obama administration and its lackeys have attempted to thwart federal enforcement of existing law and to enforce rules (augural CAFE) that are not final or legally binding.

        The neoconfederates are in dire straits. This is not a matter of administrative law, and the stakes are not winning or losing a lawsuit. If they cannot usurp federal authority, they are finished. That is why they fight as if their lives depend on it.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          I’m unclear what point you’re trying to make. California is not trying “to impose California law on the rest of the nation.” They, much like Pruitt when he was AG of Oklahoma and sued the EPA (14 times!), are challenging regulatory action as unlawful.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The way CA goes, so does the rest of the nation.

            That edict came about when the US Gov’t mandated the acceptance of CA standards nationwide and the CA/49-state standards were consolidated in the past.

            That’s what got us to this point. Now CA wants to mandate stricter standards for CA and those states who wish to adopt the same stricter standards.

            This is where “the opposition” stepped in, to keep the stricter CA standards to be mandated nationwide in order to appease the automakers.

            But automakers already deal with many different standards all over the globe, so adding one more should not be a problem.

            Just put smaller engines in vehicles built to the CA standard and leave the bigger, thirstier, more powerful engines for those people who want to buy them.

            Think Fiatsler and their high-performance offerings. They sell every single one of them, many at a premium.

          • 0 avatar
            OneAlpha

            That would be the effect, though.

            If other states adopted California’s standards, it would be the same functional thing as if they officially enforced California’s laws.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Other states did adopt it, OneAlpha. A total of 13 or a full quarter of the nation’s states and roughly half of the nation’s population.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Treason, you say?

      Or is that the sixth cup of coffee kicking in?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        I don’t drink coffee. I do listen to the Secret Service when they give a president the codename of traitor.

        I’m not sure what it’s going to take for you to wake up, but hopefully it will happen before your trial.

    • 0 avatar
      mtunofun

      Oh really? Treason for wanting clean air. While orange cheeto is dismantling our institutions and our good standing in the world so that the Chinese and the Russians can take our place. We’re the traitors? Bye Felicia.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Believing that your political movement has a monopoly on human progress, and believing that your ideas cannot manifest legislatively due to a vast political conspiracy against your movement will always devolve into treason. You were told these things long before Obama arrived in the White House, but you didn’t listen. Now the treason is explicit, not abstract, and you are in open rebellion because you believe the current administration is making unauthorized changes to federal regulation. In fact, there is no enacted regulation for the augural portion of CAFE 2025, and the law explicitly gives Congress and the EPA the power to review CAFE 2025 starting in 2017. CAFE is just the tip of the iceberg.

        The neoconfederates are attempting to sue state legislation into the federal purview as a means of nullifying elections. These are the same people who prohibited enforcement of many federal laws when they had control of DC.

        Needless to say, these people will not be free for much longer. Hopefully the mayor of Oakland will be one of the first dominoes to fall.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    This is B. Hussein Obama’s legacy, well, this and Cash For Clunkers. The man was utterly baffled.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The automakers want stability.

    Political machinations are exceptionally disruptive to product development (just ask a defense contractor), and the mfrs want to design for future targets without having those targets constantly changing.

    The 2020 MY cars are already being tooled. The mfrs want to know whether their capital expenses and ROI have a different time scale, market size, and so on. It even affects how you market a vehicle, and what expenses you expect to absorb in CAFE penalties, etc.

    They’ll build whatever they have to, but they need to know what that is.

  • avatar
    Prado

    I’d be ok with CARB keeping their mandates, if the feds actually rolled back CAFE for all other states AND if they get rid of the fed tax credit for electric cars. Let’s see how long it takes for citizens of the CARB states to get upset that they no longer have the same vehicle choices as everyone else and that the only choices available cost a lot more. Sales will probably tank also, as everyone hangs on to their old cars and trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      and if the tax rebates to oil companies, and the cost of having a military which is almost wholly tasked with protecting oil suppliers and distribution , was also passed on to the consumer – sure, then we’d have an even playing field.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The Federal tax subsidy for EVs are already sunsetting this year and next for Tesla, GM, and Nissan – the three dominant players in the market – due to each surpassing the 200k volume threshold for EV sales in the US.

      Volume of the other players is insignificant.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Here we see why the popular vote carries a whole lot more water in the real world than an electoral technicality on a crayola map

    The auto industry understands that California is the single Blue Titanic in an ocean of weekend cruisers with proven dedication to enforcing environmental responsibility.

    This is promising for our republic and a much needed reality check for our resident hypocrites who shun big government but now hide behind it in some ideological trance.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      “The auto industry understands that California is the single Blue Titanic in an ocean of weekend cruisers with proven dedication to enforcing environmental responsibility”

      You are of course aware that the Titanic sank after hitting an environmentally responsible iceberg, and 2/3 of its passengers died as a result, right?

      Looks like you are right, CA is destined to be the Titanic.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    California needs to just form its own country. It would be Venezuela in a few years, it already leads the nation in the highest poverty rate.

    http://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2017/jan/20/chad-mayes/true-california-has-nations-highest-poverty-rate-w/

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      It would probably make more sense for California to split into multiple states. It’s awfully big geographically and the population is very heterogeneous.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      California is world’s 5th largest economy. It has issues but is solvent, and is dealing with them after the republican leadership was voted out of office.

      I’m not sure if it’s your grammar or scattered thinking, but FYI: Venezuela is not an American state.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        Right, California is great and the only problems they do have is Republicans, the Party that hasn’t controlled the state legislature in over 47 years.

        And they aren’t solvent, they have an out of control pension crisis despite already having the highest state income tax in the United States.
        http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article199693069.html

        You seem to be the only one confused about Venezuela not being an American state.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          The recent transplant chuckleheads around the Bay Area are still blaming the homeless problem on Reagan for signing the Democrat authored bill that ended state level forced institutionalization of the mentally ill and distributed the responsibility to the counties. Heck the last “R” governor we had signed the bill ending the rolling exemption for smog checks and enraged the auto enthusiasts.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Exactly.

      Run that wall up the Nevada state line.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Don’t forget the ‘smog crisis’ that created these emissions standards in California. It wasn’t just something that was dreamed up to irritate mid-westerners.

    And their serious air quality problem has been at least partially eradicated thanks to the implementation of these stricter emissions controls for vehicles.

    If left to the troglodytes of the anti-government interference groups, we would still be using lead enriched gasoline.

  • avatar
    probert

    The issue is this: The car companies asked for a slower ramp up to the new standards – they did not ask for them to be changed and discarded. This regime’s willingness to discard regulations without study or public comment, caught them off guard, and left them holding the bag for a change they never asked for.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      But is California willing to agree to an extension for the timeline? I don’t think that’s even on the table for Sacramento regime.

      The Sacramento Regime is saying “okay this one standard rushed through by DC a few years back is fine. We will not tolerate any changes to it by present day DC”.

      • 0 avatar
        fIEtser

        Yes, CA was open to discussing relaxing the rules in exchange for extending the timeline out to 2030.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-22/california-sets-demands-for-talking-emissions-targets-with-trump

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I’m not sure if California would ever accept a “deal” or be willing to “compromise”. The CA government seems to be really stuck in its ways. If deals are to be made, play hardball because I doubt a verbal or written deal could be forged.

    Best to band together and stop shipping cars to CA until they cave and before the rules become more onerous. Even hybrids, electric cars and cars that get 50+ mpg would be withheld. The short term pain would net a long term gain and the CA government would be put in its place.

    In addition to the automakers, dealers, lenders, the buying public and all other kinds of stakeholders would be applying immense pressure to the CA legislature that it would have no choice but to make a deal, whether it wanted to or not.

    On that note, I love the photo of the old gas station. There are a couple of those in rural Utah and all over the desert southwest. I love to take photos of things like this. Most functioning gas stations now have miniature TVs in their pumps which blare ESPN or weather forecasts.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Is this the message from Utah?

      Trust me: If the car companies have to choose between Utah and the 5th largest economy in the world, I know where I’ll put my money. In short: don’t call us, we’ll call you.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Hahahaha I truly hope you do secede because they will come at you with everything they have and then make up whatever story they want to cover for the disappearances or casualties.

    • 0 avatar
      wtaf

      What an immensely stupid comment. Should they hold out shipments to the 16 other CARB states as well? Will foreign makers join in or will the domestics be the only ones to commit suicide?

  • avatar
    mcs

    This is probably who will be setting the emissions standards for the future. Their market is so large, if the standards are tighter than ours, that’s what we’ll get here.

    http://english.mee.gov.cn/
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-autos-emissions-idUSKBN14C0Q4
    https://www.transportpolicy.net/standard/beijing-light-duty-emissions/

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    ‘The 5th largest economy in the world”, that phrase has been tossed about quite a bit. You can rest assured that ranking would plummet sans Uncle Sam’s largesse and interests. There very well may be a storm coming, a constitutional one of sorts, in the future. The founders didn’t plan on one state becoming so large and influential, let alone one run by the fringe. Rational people have no agency in that state.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    CARB is just looking for a huge Payday Advance. There’s not enough CARB states to change the US auto industry.

    Except the fines are small enough for offending OEMs to pay (of course they won’t like it), but big enough for them to live much fatter, give themselves raises.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    I wonder if the automakers could meet the separate standards just by tweaking their vehicle mix. Make it so California only gets the most fuel efficient engine for each vehicle (no more 6.2L Silverados) and possibly eliminate models altogether (no more Impalas). At least that way the rest of the country can still get what they want.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    I think the friction is that California (and the other states that side with California) is trying to push its views on the rest of the country. The solution, therefore, is to insulate the rest of the country from California’s decisions.

    Proposal:
    * Separate existing CAFE “fleet” into the CalCAFE and CAFE (CAFE would now be only for non-California cars)
    * Let California set high whatever requirements and fines it wants for not meeting CalCAFE standards.
    * Let car companies make whatever cars they want and sell them everywhere in the US.
    * Manufacturers would charge a high surcharge to Californians who chose to buy low efficiency cars; that surcharge would offset the manufacturers’ fines.
    * There would be a fee to register a CAFE car in a CalCAFE state. That’s very much like the fee for registering a car that isn’t California-emissions compliant. Presumably, the fee would be the same or (slightly more) than the amount that manufacturers charge extra if you had bought the car in a CalCAFE state — that would allow people to move into a CalCAFE state with their existing car, but not encourage existing CalCAFE residents to purchase out of state to avoid the in-state surcharge.

    I don’t think this solution would pose an engineering burden on car manufacturers. The could chose to limit which cars they sell in the CalCAFE states or they could just charge a premium equal to the fine that would be imposed if you brought in a CAFE car (i.e.: non CalCAFE car). As long as the fuel economy testing procedure could be used for CalCAFE and CAFE alike, companies would do just the same amount of testing and designing.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    As I understand it, the original reason for allowing California to set emissions standards higher was:
    * California’s unique geography caused a unique problem not addressed by the national standard
    * California would be able to greatly alleviate its unique pollution problem with unique standards at a reasonably affordable cost

    However, CAFE isn’t about smog-forming or particulate emissions. It’s about carbon dioxide emissions, which aren’t really any more of a problem in California than they are in other parts of the country. Therefore, there’s no need for California to have a unique solution. (And some would say carbon dioxide emissions aren’t a problem at all, anywhere; but that’s a different discussion.)

    It seems that California is trying to conflate smog-forming emissions with carbon dioxide emissions and claim that since it was given an exception to regulate the former, that exemption must be automatically applied to the latter. However, it should be noted that for years California regulated the former without regulating the latter (and not complaining a whole lot about it, either). And, the former exemption effectively addresses the issues caused by California’s unique geography trapping smog while the latter doesn’t actually effectively address anything. It’s just a bullying tactic.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The Autopilot cars should go into “limp mode”, activate the 4-way flashers, trigger annoying buzzers, then 20% below the speed limit, when they detect their drivers aren’t paying attention to the road, hands off, and or went unconscious.

    Elon Musk took the latest driver “assist” tech, bastardized it and called it his own, just to help sell the hell out of cars to crash test dummies.

  • avatar
    LDeaton

    Native people hundreds of years ago referred to the L A basin as “The Valley of Smoke” It is a victim of geography and topography. Most days, there is an inversion layer that traps everything. Up until the 70’s, every house had an incinerator in the backyard for burning trash. Bob Hope (who’s he?) was making jokes in the 40’s about LA smog. Saw a report within the last year that despite guvment’s best efforts, air pollution has not declined in years, and by far, most of it does not come from internal combustion.


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